On 15 February 2022, the UNODC Global Firearms Programme (GFP) held a workshop to support the participation of Macedonian institutions in the UNODC’s Illicit Arms Flows Monitoring Initiative through regular collection and sharing of consolidated criminal justice data on firearms. The workshop gathered representatives from the Judiciary, Prosecution, Customs and the Ministry of Interior responsible for the collection, analysis, and exchange of firearms-related data.The event has provided an opportunity to identify the capacity of the institutions in the Republic of North Macedonia to develop comparable data sets on firearms that foster data sharing among countries for more effective investigations and operational use. The participants have reviewed the UNODC's illicit arms flows questionnaire and have established the data that can be collected and shared on an annual basis. The workshop has allowed for review of the practices in collecting criminal justice data and has contributed towards identification of gaps and formulation of recommendations on how to improve them and to ensure North Macedonia’s regular participation in UNODC’s Illicit Arms Flows Monitoring Initiative through the submission of high quality of data.
This workshop supports Goal 2 of the Western Balkans SALW Control Roadmap: "By 2024, ensure that arms control policies and practices in the Western Balkans are evidence-based and intelligence-led", and specifically to the Target: "Institutionalize systematic collection of criminal justice data across the Criminal Justice Sector (at the level of Police and Customs, Prosecutors’ service, Court Service, Correctional and Penitentiary Services)”. It also supports reaching the Target “Ensure full implementation and monitoring of legal, policy and procedural framework on trafficking of FAE” under Goal 3 “By 2024, significantly reduce illicit flows of firearms, ammunition and explosives (FAE) into, within and beyond the Western Balkans”.This activity is implemented with the financial support provided by Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, France, the Netherlands, and Norway through the Western Balkans SALW Control Roadmap Trust Fund and supported by the European Union.